Today’s episode is extra fun for me because I had the pleasure of interviewing my brother, Dr. Ari Graff.
Recently, Ari has shifted his career focus from practicing psychotherapy to life coaching.
His coaching focuses specifically on helping men who feel unhappy and stuck in romantic relationships. It also helps single men who have difficulty maintaining or starting satisfying relationships.
As you might have guessed, today we’re not going to be talking about the machining business. But I wanted to do this interview because to reach your full potential in your professional life, it’s beneficial to have a solid personal life.
In this interview, you’re going to hear ideas about why some romantic relationships fail that you may not have considered before. We’re also going to talk about how with the right approach you have the potential to improve an unhappy relationship.
Whether you’re a man in a dysfunctional romantic relationship, someone single, or someone in a seemingly wonderful relationship, this interview will likely make you think. And for women listening to this, you’ll find it interesting and important as well.
Listen with the player at the bottom of the page or at your favorite podcast app.
Highlights of Podcast Interview
Noah Graff: Ari, why do you think that people listening to this podcast might find your coaching interesting?
Ari Graff: I know there’s a lot of men in your industry, but there’s going to be a lot for women in what we’ll talk about.
I think a lot of men these days are stuck, and they’re not sure how to be men. What does it mean to be masculine these days? This is something that I’ve been figuring out over the past few years. And now it’s something that I coach men in.
Noah Graff: When you describe your coaching, you talk about “Nice Guy Syndrome.” What does that term mean?
Ari Graff: In early 2021, I discovered a book called No More Mr. Nice Guy. It’s kind of a provocative sounding title, but I really connected with this book.
It’s been out for about 20 years, and it’s about this concept of nice guy syndrome. “Nice guys” are men who believe that if they’re loving, and kind, and caring, then they’ll get the love and satisfaction that they want in life and in their relationships. It’s not that being nice is bad, (but) it’s the excessive niceness. It’s the people pleasing—always wanting approval.
That was (a place) where I was really stuck in my marriage, always wanting to get her approval for whatever I did and being very needy.
And to my my ex’s credit, she didn’t want that. She wanted a partner who was more assertive, who was more of a leader.
But this isn’t just about leading in a relationship. I’m leading in my whole life.
Noah Graff: You’ve talked to me in the past about the concept of polarity. What is polarity?
Ari Graff: (The idea) is that for a romantic or sexual relationship to have good chemistry, one partner needs to be in the masculine energy role and their partner in the feminine energy role.
Noah Graff: Does this harken back to John Gray’s Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus?
Ari Graff: It does bring up differences between men and women, but I do want to say that this isn’t just for people in traditional straight relationships. This applies to people who are gay or lesbian, or people with different gender identities too.
You can be trans or non-binary and still want to work on your masculine energy or your feminine energy. All people have both masculine and feminine energy, so it is nuanced. But most men are going to be more masculine energy oriented. That’s the way that they lean, and that’s the way that they want to be in the relationship with their romantic partner.
Explain masculine energy.
You want to think about masculine energy as certain traits that you can tap into.
These are around leading and doing, being organized, problem solving. Things that we typically associate with being masculine.
And nowadays, women are in high powered roles. They’re in that all day. They’re doing all the time. They’re in that masculine energy all the time. And then it makes it difficult for them to get into that feminine energy when they come home. And then men don’t necessarily know how to lead them or help them into that feminine energy.
Noah Graff: Is that something that you felt happened with your marriage?
Ari Graff: Yes. I wasn’t up to the task of being a leader. I grew into it over time, but it was too late.
(But) I think you’ve still got to be open to working through things with people.
A lot of the men that I work with, they’re like passengers in their relationship or their marriage.
They just feel like they’ve made this decision, and now things are happening. They may feel stuck. They feel like they don’t have a choice. And the reality is you always have a choice. You’re always making a choice to be in your marriage. You may not feel like you’re making a choice. You may feel like there’s a lot of things or forces that you don’t control, but you’re always making a choice.
You can contact Dr. Ari Graff on his website https://drarigraff.com or at firstname.lastname@example.org.